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23 July 2019

The Seventieth Week

The Altar of Burnt Offering
We now come to the climax of the prophecy, the final or “seventieth seven” (Daniel 9:26-27). The preposition “after” locates the events of this last paragraph in the seventieth “week,” theoretically one of seven years duration.
     The text states an anointed one will be cut off “after the sixty-two weeks.” Note well the omission of the first “seven weeks” in this accounting, the forty-nine years leading up to “an anointed one, a leader.” Whether that period runs consecutively or concurrently with the sixty-two weeks, it is not figured into the chronology at this point. But its omission is noteworthy.

The First Sixty-nine Weeks

Ancient Babylon
The Hebrew clause reads, “sevens, seventy are divided...” Elsewhere in the Old Testament “sevens” (shabua) refer to seven day weeks or to time periods divided into seven segments (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:9; Daniel 10:2). In this clause, the stress is on the “sevens” (plural) that precede the numeral “seventy” (that is, “sevens, seventy are determined”). Idiomatically, “weeks, seventy in number are divided.”
     The seventy sevens cannot refer to normal seven day weeks or 490 days. The figure is related to Jeremiah’s prophecy of seventy years (Daniel 9:1-2), and 490 days is insufficient to complete the items detailed in verses 25-27, such as the rebuilding of the city.


22 July 2019

Seventy Weeks - Prayer and Visitation

Daniel in Babylon's Court
The “first year” of Darius the Mede locates this event in 538-537 BC when Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:28-6:1). This was about the time Cyrus the Great decreed the release of Jewish captives from Babylon (536 BC. cp. 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2).
     Daniel was studying a scroll containing the book of Jeremiah. The passage of interest was Jeremiah 25:9-11, “And this whole land shall be desolation and astonishment; these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy-years.” The desolation began with the subjugation of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in 606-605 BC. This means the seventy years captivity was nearly over by this time (536 BC).


19 July 2019

The Death and Exaltation of Jesus in Revelation

The good Shepherd
The death of Jesus, his resurrection, and his consequent exaltation are prominent in the book of Revelation; his death is the foundation of its visions. God’s plans to redeem humanity and the Creation through Christ are unveiled through each one.
     It is the death and the enthronement of Jesus that put God’s redemptive plans into action. Because the book is perceived to be concerned about distant future events, the role that the death of Jesus plays is overlooked.


Daniel's Fourth Beast not Identical to Revelation's Beast

The Harlot rides the Beast
In discussions on the book of Revelation, the “Beast” from the sea is often assumed to be the fourth beast from Daniel (Daniel 7:1-8Revelation 13:1-10). Is Revelation simply expounding on Daniel’s earlier vision of a fourth beast?
    That Daniel’s vision of four beasts lies behind Revelation’s image is indisputable. Perhaps the book of Revelation borrows language from Daniel to build its own picture.

18 July 2019

The Ram and Goat - Interpretation

Antiochus IV
In the vision of the four beasts from the sea only the first beast can be identified with certainty, Babylon (Daniel 7:1-8). Not one of the four is explicitly named, though each represents a “kingdom.” In the interpretation of the next vision, two of the four kingdoms are identified by name (8:20-21).
     The Ram with two horns represents the “kings of the Medes and the Persians.” This sheds light on the symbolism of the ram.